FREDERIC MARLETT BELL-SMITH, O.S.A., R.C.A.
THE SILVERY TIDE
oil on canvas
signed and dated 1913
42 ins x 60 ins; 111.8 cms x 152.4 cms
For the duration of his career, Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith maintained an insatiable interest in atmospheric effects whether rendered in watercolour or oil. This passion predisposed him toward subjects that accommodated this aim.
Whether rendering craggy mountains with their cascading waterfalls and dizzying gorges, or bustling London Streets and Thames riverboats, the artist exhibited an almost unrivalled talent for capturing rain, steam, smoke, haze, and fog. So evident is this, that one may assert that it was these atmospheric effects which were his primary subject and the physical and human geography merely a vehicle for achieving this end.
The view depicted here is of Waterloo Bridge with Somerset House in the distance. Paintings of this bridge were also produced by Claude Monet and J.M.W. Turner. Replaced with a new structure in 1942, granite stones from the original bridge were saved and distributed throughout the commonwealth “to further historic links in the British Commonwealth nations.”
Private Collection, Toronto
38th Annual Exhibition, The Ontario Society of Artists, 14 March 1914, cat. no.4.
Fine Arts Department, Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, 1914.